Harvest Carrot Cake

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READY IN: 50mins
Recipe by Deb Mattson

Incredibly moist carrot cake is a perfect way to wrap up a Thanksgiving feast or anytime. This outstanding dessert contains liqueur-soaked raisins and pine nuts, plus there's toasted coconut in the icing. I got this recipe from our Canadian magazine Chatelaine. I use Grand Marnier for the liqueur or you can use orange juice instead.

Ingredients Nutrition

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius).
  2. Lightly butter 3 (9-inch/23-cm) round cake pans.
  3. If you don't have 3 pans, use disposable 8-1/2-inch (21.6-cm) round foil pans instead.
  4. Line bottom of pans with a circle of lightly buttered waxed paper.
  5. To plump raisins, place in a small microwave-safe bowl and drizzle with liqueur. Cover with plastic. Microwave on medium until warm, 1 to 2 minutes. Set aside.
  6. Peel carrots; grate using large grating disc of a food processor or a box grater. Grated carrots should measure no more than 3-1/2 cups (875 mL). It's important not to use any more or cake will be soggy.
  7. In a medium-size bowl, using an electric mixer, beat eggs with orange peel, brown sugar, vegetable oil and vanilla until smooth.
  8. In a large bowl, using a fork, stir flour with baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and allspice.
  9. Make a well in centre.
  10. Pour in egg mixture. Stir just until moist.
  11. Gently stir in carrots, raisins with any remaining liqueur and pine nuts until evenly distributed.
  12. Scrape into prepared pans and smooth tops.
  13. Bake in centre of 350 degree Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius) oven until a cake tester inserted in centre of cake comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes.
  14. Cool cakes in pans 10 minutes; turn out onto a cooling rack; cool completely.
  15. If making ahead, wrap individually in plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 3 days.
  16. For icing, place cream cheese in a large bowl.
  17. Using an electric mixer, beat until creamy.
  18. Beat in icing sugar; add vanilla and orange-flavored liqueur, scraping down sides as needed.
  19. Stir in 1/3 cup (75 mL) coconut.
  20. Place 1 cake on a large plate.
  21. Spread one-third of frosting overtop, just to edges.
  22. Repeat layering with cakes and frosting to form a triple-decker cake.
  23. Sprinkle top with remaining 1/3 cup coconut.
  24. Refrigerate at least 1 hour, or overnight, before serving.
  25. Slice into wedges and serve.
  26. Any leftovers will keep well, covered and refrigerated, up to 5 days.

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